Journey to Joke-a-lot is the Care Bears' first venture
into CGI animation. Young Care Bears fans are accustomed to seeing
2D cartoon renditions of the caring bears, and most will enjoy the
chubby new look of the likes of Funshine Bear, Tenderheart, and
Cheer Bear. This full-length animated adventure is not only more
graphically rich, it's more musical.
The basic story line of the movie is as follows: Funshine Bear is a joker, but
one day he carries a joke perhaps a
little too far, and he feels underappreciated for his sense of
humor. Instead of resolving the problem with his friends, he embarks on a journey to Joke-a-lot, where the
word "serious" is the dreaded "s" word. His
jokes are not only well-received by the fun-loving residents of Joke-a-lot, he is made king of
the land. Meanwhile, Funshine Bear's friends miss him and attempt to find their friend,
hoping to bring him back to Care-a-lot.
movie is colorful in almost every sense of the word. In all
Care Bears movies we've seen, there is a distinct struggle between evil and good.
We have found most Care Bears movies excessively focused on this
concept, with some rather sinister "bad guys". Journey to
Joke-a-lot features an evil rat who wants the scepter over which
Funshine has guardianship. There are a few scenes that might be
somewhat alarming or disturbing to some viewers, including a
too-fast-paced rollercoaster ride and some rather disturbing group
laughter directed at Funshine. In comparison to other cartoon-style
Care Bears movies, however, this one features perhaps less focus on
evil, but still too much in our opinion. This is the reason
behind our suggested age group of 5 or more.
Social Skills/Messages: There are several themes and
conflicts set forward in the movie that parents can discuss with
their kids--the fine balance between joking and preserving friends'
feelings, for example. Funshine Bear is crowned King Funshine
the Great and everything he says (joke or no joke) is found to be
funny in Joke-a-lot. Essentially, he gets his wish for his sense of
humor to be appreciated. He struggles a little with his attraction
to the glamor of his new role of king versus the basic love and caring he has with
his friends from "back home".
Best For: Ages 5-6 and up.
For Care Bears Fans:
Young Care Bears fans should enjoy the free games, including
matching and simple arcade-style games, at the official Care Bears
Bears Facts: Did you know that the Care Bears were created by
American Greetings in 1981? This was the company's second group of
characters they created. What was their first? Strawberry Shortcake.
Care-a-lot is a play on Camelot, and the Care Bears met around a
heart-shaped table rather than the round table of Arthur
For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Care Bears - Journey to Joke-a-Lot
(DVD edition) or Care Bears - Journey to Joke-a-Lot
Reviewed: April 2005